How Do Prepaid Meters Work? | Conlog

How Do Prepaid Meters Work?

12.05.2017
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Prepaid meters

How do Prepaid Meters determine how much my home is using?

Modern prepaid meters work by helping consumers keep track of how much electricity they are using. It also puts the power in the consumer’s hand of how much she spends, as she is able to constantly gauge the level of usage, and decide when, and how much, electricity to buy. Monthly electricity consumption is calculated in KWH, which stands for kilowatt per hour.

One kilowatt, or one electricity unit, equals 1000 watts. A standard globe in a South African home is 100 watts. Should the same globe burn for 24 hours, it would therefore consume 2.4KWh, or 2.4 units of electricity. Prepaid meters are able to count the flow of electricity used in KWH. The meter balance decreases as the consumer uses electricity, and there is an LED light on the meter that flashes as electricity is consumed. The faster the light flashes, the more units are being used.

How Do Prepaid Meters Calculate the Number of Units?

When the consumer requests to recharge the electricity, the request is sent to the municipality’s vending system. The vending system then checks the tariff applicable to the meter, and then converts the rand amount into the required number of units.

South Africa’s prepaid electricity meters use STS technology, or Standard Transfer Specification. This means that the meters are able to accept the same 20 digit encrypted code, which prevents fraudulent vouchers from being generated. This code is then transformed inside the electricity meter into a token, and the token is understood by the meter as an amount of KWH electricity units.

At Conlog, we are proud to be considered among one of the world’s leading metering solutions providers to utilities, municipalities and property management companies. We also strongly focus on big data analytics, and smart city solutions. Our team of seasoned professionals is always at hand to provide you with more information on our products and services, and to help you make the best decision for your properties’ electricity usage and consumption needs. Speak to us today to learn more about what we do, and how it benefits you.

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